As an ex-Mckinsey consultant and part of recruiting team, here is my perspective:
How do these interviews with the partners differ from the first round interviews?
Every partner discussion is different and the direction the conversation takes depends on role that you are interviewing for, feedback that the partner has got from earlier rounds and of course the Partner’s personality.
However, generally it is advisable to keep the following things in mind.
1) Are the cases delivered with the same style of precision and structure as the first round?
- A lot of times, the Partner round case discussions are less structured. Partners tend to give real life case from their experience or sometimes they can also pick a situation from the candidate’s CV, make a few changes and turn it into a case.
2) Is the Fit format consistent with the PEI, or do the partners take these conversations in different directions?
- Generally, Partners will hit fewer topics but will go much deeper. So they will ask you about something and then you should expect a lot of follow on questions. They really want to understand the full story
3) Generally, what portion of the hour-long session is dedicated to the case study?
- approx. 30-40 minutes
3) What personality traits are most important to demonstrate with the partners?
See the answer below.
Keep the following things in mind while preparing for the Partner interview:
Better synthesis – Your analytical mindset has already been tested in earlier rounds. Partners would like to test your client readiness. Partners pay more attention to how you draw your conclusions, communicate your conclusions, how you synthesis etc.
Comfort with less structured case discussion – Partners love to test your creativity, out of the box thinking. Multiple times in the discussion they can ask you your opinion on the data point/clarification that you had asked, to check your business acumen e.g. you asked, what is the growth rate of our client; partner responds what number would you want to assume? or open ended questions e.g. tell me more, is there anything else?
Consistent stories and deep dives – Partners would want to know your story. They want to see whether your decision to join McKinsey is consistent with your career story. Whether the achievements you have mentioned on the CV are consistent with your project stories. Partners will drill down into your experiences and achievements to the extreme. They want to understand how you react to challenges and how you think and communicate about your past work.
Feel free to get in touch with me in case of further clarification/advise on this topic.
All the best!